So a fair bit happened while I was gone:
Bill Roggio reported from Iraq on the spread of tribal movements similar to the Anbar Awakening. He touches on the story from Baghdad province- similar things are happening in Salad al Din and Diyala provinces, to the northwest and northeast. In Diyala, the tribal council includes 80% of the major tribes, and involves Sunni, Shia and Kurds.
I wrote shortly before I left Kuwait about the murder of Sheik Sattar, the leader and primary founder of the tribal movement in al-Anbar province. His brother has stepped up into the role, while US Special Forces captured his murderer.
Violence was widely expected to rise during the holy month of Ramadan, both because of past trends towards violence and because of al-Qaeda / AQI affiliate warnings of a "Ramadan Offensive". In fact, Reuters reports that violence over the first three weeks of Ramadan is around 40% lower then it was last year. As a cautionary note, the last week is considered especially holy for martyrs, and we may therefore see a spike in violence over the next few days.